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What to do if you’re in a car accident

We all know we buy car insurance in case of an accident but when a car accident happens, it’s hard to be sure what to do and what steps to take. Here’s some simple tips from Acorn Insurance. 

Firstly, no one sets out to have a car accident but car insurance gives you that element of security that should it happen, you’ve some comfort in knowing your insurance company or broker is there to help, whether you’ve chosen to insure your vehicle with fully comprehensive or third party insurance cover. 

Many people may feel confident in what they should do in the event of an accident but in that moment and shock of an accident, you may forget the simplest of steps so we want to share them with you:

1. I’ve been in a car accident, what do I do next?

Every accident is different and depending on the seriousness of the accident, you should firstly evaluate your surroundings and determine if your car is in a safe location. Priority should be the safety of you and those in the car with you. If for example you are on a motorway or on a dangerous bend, you should get everyone to a safe place as safely as possible. 

If the accident is of a serious nature, you should not attempt to move the vehicles. If the accident is minor and you can move the vehicles, move them to the side of the road so they are not a danger to you or any oncoming traffic. 

At this stage turn off the engine and switch on the vehicle hazard lights. If you have a warning triangle in your card, place it away from the crash scene in view of approaching drivers. It is not advised to do this on a motorway.

2. Check for injuries of those involved in the accident

Like on an airplane, tend to yourself first and access your own injuries before checking on your passengers. Simple as calling ‘everyone OK?’ question. Do not attempt to move anyone who may have sustained serious injury. If you find everyone is okay in your car, you could attempt to check on any third party involved. If you discover someone injured, place a blanket or jacket over them to help keep them warm.

3. Contact emergency services

Once you’ve determined how everyone is, call the emergency services. Dial 999 or 112 and explain to the operator. Depending on the severity of the accident the Gardaí, ambulance and/or fire brigade may need to come. The operator will be able to help you there. Give them the details of the accident and request the accident report number for future reference, this is also known as a pulse number.

4. What details you need to obtain after an accident

Thankfully, most accidents are not of the most serious nature and in the vast majority of cases, it’s only damage to the vehicle(s) involved in the accident. That being said, it is still important to take the details of any third-party driver involved and in return provide your details to them. Details you should exchange with everyone involved before anyone leaves the scene are:

  • Vehicle registration
  • Vehicle make, model and colour
  • Name of driver
  • Insurance
  • Insurance policy number

It is a legal requirement to exchange these details. It is also important to take a note of any third-party passengers and if any passenger has sustained an injury. 

Write down details of the accident including the positions of the cars after the accident. If possible, take photos of the accident scene. The smallest of detail may be very important further down the line during a possible investigation by the insurance company. 

5. Don’t accept liability

As mentioned earlier you may be in shock after the accident but be careful it’s important that there is no acceptance of liability at the scene, so no apologising for the accident or saying sorry for anything.  This can be taken as taking the blame for an accident that may not have been your fault.

6. Notify your insurance company or broker

Notify your insurance company or broker as soon as possible after the accident. It may be outside office working hours, but most insurance companies have a 24 hour emergency contact number which can be found in their policy booklet or on their website. For Acorn Insurance customers, you’ll find our Emergency Assistance information here.  

Looking for a new car insurance policy or renewing your policy,  give us a call 0818 800222 or Request a Callback to speak to one of our team on how you can have Acorn Insurance on your side for your insurance needs.

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